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New not-for-profit recruiting teachers for disadvantaged schools

2 min read

Wendy Kopp, CEO of the US equivalent of TFA, Teach for America, is in Australia to support the organisation’s launch. She reflected on the program’s capacity for social and economic growth. “We can create the silver lining in this economic environment by channelling the talent, which is more available than ever, towards the education sector – which in turn is the key to long-term economic strength and an equal society,” Kopp said.

Kopp notes that many graduates turn to teaching as a stable source of employment in these times of economic uncertainty.

“With more limited employment prospects in many sectors, Australia’s most accomplished and driven university graduates and young professionals can now think more openly about their career choices,” she said.

The TFA will place the first round of up to 60 Associates in disadvantaged Victorian secondary schools in Term 1, 2010. TFA is working with other states and territories to expand placement opportunities for our Associates in the coming years.

TFA is seeking outstanding, well-rounded candidates who received their Bachelor degree within the last five years from a non-teaching field.

Candidates undergo a rigorous multi-stage selection process where they are tested for the characteristics that make a great teacher including: achievement, leadership, commitment, communication and influencing ability, problem solving, organisational skills, perseverance, and respect and humility.

School principals and corporate partners are involved with TFA in the assessment of applicants.

While outstanding academic results will be viewed favourably, the selection process considers a range of other attributes. This ensures participants are well-rounded individuals who will contribute to both the academic as well as extracurricular culture of disadvantage schools.

Successful applicants will receive intensive training before being placed in disadvantaged schools for two years.

The initial induction training will focus heavily on classroom management, instruction, planning and delivery, followed by ongoing leadership training.

After their two year placement, Associates are free to continue teaching or pursue other careers in other sectors with the TFA’s full support.

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